International broadcast consultant Valerie Geller coaches talent, working with stations (and now podcasters) throughout the world to grow audiences and to become more powerful communicators and storytellers. Her fourth book, Beyond Powerful Radio – A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age is in a ninth printing from Focal press.
Valerie has made appearances at several Jacobs Media events and conferences over the years. No matter how many times you’ve see her speak at conventions and on panels, you learn something new every time. Here’s her “Guest List” submission:
Seth Resler had me at “hello.” He’d sent a brief note. In the car, on his way to start his new gig with Jacobs Media in Michigan, he'd been listening to the newly dropped audio-book version of Beyond Powerful Radio – A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age.
By way of full disclosure, I professionally adore ALL the Jacobs brothers, (gold star to Steve Goldstein, years ago, for making the introduction) and I was honored to have been a part of their 2014 DASH Conference.
Seth didn’t blink before saying YES, when I asked if he’d be willing to be part of an upcoming panel on podcasting. So when he invited me to write for the Jacobs Blog – there was only one answer.
Since many PDs and air talent are overworked and overloaded – the result of consolidation, and cutbacks – some days just getting it done can be a challenge. It’s easy to lose sight – if you program a station(s) – that creating powerful radio is an art form. Here are:
5 Things PDs Should Start Doing (if you’re not already…)
1. Content is, and always will be, king.
You’ll never go wrong keeping to the Powerful Radio Principles: Tell the truth, Make it Matter, and Never Be Boring.
To that end: Develop Talent – Hire original, fun, smart people with humor. Find storytellers. Work with them. Create a farm team: “Radio’s R&D.” Even if that means giving people podcasts under the station imprint, find and develop talent.
And hire a digital specialist. Become platform agnostic. Build your people, build your brand – and be anywhere and everywhere your audience can find you and listen. Aircheck, encourage self-checking if you don’t have the time to aircheck them yourself.
2. Take Chances – Lead, don’t follow.
Learn the lesson from Adele – just make your art. Stick to your vision. If you get held back by fear and other people’s vision, you worry about costs, get stuck in trends, or slam down ideas with: “That won’t work” or “We don’t do that here,” you lower your shot at winning.
Encourage ideas. Try them out. Stick with ideas (and people) long enough to give them a chance to catch on. Radio is littered with great ideas and talent that never got a long enough “runway” to catch on. Believe in your product.
3. Remember Your Listeners.
It’s easy to get jaded when caught up in day-to-day corporate minutia. Don’t. Radio has NOT lost its cachet for the general public. An example: The new Marvel Comics series, Jessica Jones on Netflix. A critical success, popular with the 18-34 demo, and one of the show’s main supporting characters is a female radio host. Sometimes it helps getting an outside reminder that the world sees radio as a very cool gig.
4. Listen. Focus on one thing at a time.
Multi-tasking looks great on paper… but it’s highly overrated. It’s so easy to get distracted, but if you give each task full attention, and if you pay attention, it’ll pay off.
5. Be a man (or woman) of your word. “Do Unto Others:” A good rule for managers. A good rule for life.
Thanks to Val Geller for writing “Guest List” this week. She can be reached at Valerie@gellermedia.com & is a Twitter regular at @vgeller.
More Guest Lists
- Steve Goldstein: 6 Ways Podcasts Are Different Than Radio
- Rich Homberg: The 5 Things Today’s Radio Personalities Can Learn from J.P. McCarthy
- Blubrry’s Todd Cochrane: 5 Things You Should Know About Podcast Measurement
- James Cridland: 5 Countries You Should Look At For Radio Ideas
- John O'Connell: The 5 Biggest Challenges Launching a New Radio Station
- Research Will Break Your Heart - March 29, 2023
- What's The ONE Thing? - March 28, 2023
- The Art Of The Sale - March 24, 2023
Nancy Skinner says
Valerie Geller is a genius. And I do think she addressed my points in yesterday’s content. She said content is king. Find funny and interesting people who can tell stories. And the truth matters. She said experiment, do R &D which I take to mean try new stuff, new talent. The mostly male talkers today RANT for 3 hours. You can always whip angry people into an angrier mob. But can you become a almost a personal friend to a listener who knows you and identifies with you and your stories. That is a listener your sales people will thank you for. Your Live Reads turn into sales and they can demonstrate that. Plus you don’t get blacklisted by agencies… Full disclosure: I’ve read all Valerie’s books and been consulted with her. I highly recommended her to new talkers!
Dennis Kelly says
Well done Miss Geller. Five bullets of unerring direction which are simple in their expression, and catastrophic if not followed. Especially liked the comment that ‘the world sees radio as a very cool gig’. Bingo. It is often an outsider’s perspective to make us truly appreciate the great job, career, position etc., that we have each day.
And as for bullet #2- Indeed. A man who nevers goes out on a limb will preserve the sanctity of his position, but he will never rise above it.
Thanks Miss Geller. Dennis Kelly
Valerie Geller says
Dennis and Nancy, thank you.